Have a couple partners, a singer, and another woman who's got connections. We have a lot to do but we plan to be touring by next spring. So I pulled my Roland drum set out of the closet and set it up. This is the first time I've played in about 10 years.
Let me get the big one out of the way: I filed for divorce a couple weeks ago. No, it's a good thing, we both agree on, and we're handling it with a "no fangs" approach. Trying to set a good example for the kid - that you handle conflict peacefully, and that we're not breaking up the family, just the marriage.
I had been pretty depressed for a couple of years, isolating myself in front of various screens. My entire social life was spent on IRC bullshitting with people I know in SoCal. Then, about 6 months ago when it became clear that the split was imminent, I had a scary vision: sitting alone in an apartment with a vaporizor and a bottle of Jameson, playing GTA every night. I decided "fuck that" and shouted out to a local subreddit, asking where the best dives in town were. Next thing I knew, I was organizing events at meetup.com. Our group's motto is "Use the Internet to get off the Internet!"
Here's a shot from a road trip we did to the PSE wind farm, about 130 miles East of me.
Other than that, just keeping my head above water, trying to stay one step ahead of a smart-ass thirteen year old!
I just did another look and he's nowhere. It's amazing to think you can't find someone online these days. I even found "Burger" Joe Mielko on Facebook. He hasn't responded to me yet, but I found him. (He was camera 2 for the Brooklyn Army Terminal party.)
Nope. Sometime around 2003 I called the company he used to work for. They said he'd left just months earlier, and they didn't know how to reach him. I hope he's ok.
Last time I saw him was on the street in NYC, maybe 1991 or so. He asked if he could borrow money. I gave him a $50 I happened to have in my wallet (I usually don't carry large bills, so it was weird) and handed it to him and said "Keep it. To be honest, I don't expect to see this money again. If you pay me back, fine, but don't worry about it. Just stay safe." I wish now that I'd offered him a place, or gave him my phone number.
Hey Martin. I thought I had gotten used to the quakes in Japan, but this was a whopper! I was on the fifth floor of a fairly old building and that sucker shook like a strippers ass for at least three minutes! It felt like a whole lot longer. The next shock came about ten minutes later, it was a 7.2, and that got us scurrying out of the building. We all jumped in my van and watched the building sway for the next half an hour or so.
I live in the mountains so there wasn't any worry about floods. We had a few rock slides, but for the most part the city fared well.
Aftershocks were pretty strong...still are, but whiskey makes sleep possible ;)
I ain't too sure if they are gonna let us back into the building....It's slated for demolition in a year and this might just have moved the date up a couple of months.
Congratulations on surviving that! Ive felt a 7 so I can only imagine what that 9 was like. Then the floods....
Did the shaking cause the most damage or the floods where you live? How long did the initial shaking last? I know those aftershocks make it hard to sleep, no?
Take care, Martin
I am OK. Scariest thing I've ever experienced!! I live about 150 miles from the city they probably showed on the news. We had no power water or telephone lines even the internet was down so I had no way to get in touch with folks. The city is pretty banged up and there are over 200 people dead. I am really lucky I am not one of them!
thanks for your concern,
My 10-year old daughter Ivy still believes, I think. However...
In the car on the way to their cousin's house last week we were listening to the How Christmas Works episode of the "Stuff You Should Know" podcast from HowStuffWorks.com (excellent podcast, BTW) when they came to the point about the history of Santa. They said that he originally came from Turkey, was worshiped by Italian sailors, who then took his bones and brought him to Italy and placed him in the alter of The Grandmother, worshiped for her gift giving during the winter solstice, essentially kicking her out of that alter and giving Nick her history. The podcast show hosts then commented that "there is no magic" with Santa.
Ivy nearly jumped out of her car seat and said "There is no Santa?!?" Her older sister Miette and I both said "No, no, no, there is a Santa Claus. Those guys were just joking around" as I shut the player off. There was about three minutes of silence while she processed. I wasn't sure if I'd just spoiled her innocence on the subject, and whether or not I'd catch serious hell from my ex.
Three days later, while at my parent's house on Christmas Eve, we were visited by one of Santa's Helpers, who handed out gifts to all the kids there. Later that night, as Ivy was getting in bed, she asked me if Santa was still coming later that night. I told her that he had already come and gave her a present. She said "No... I mean SANTA, not that guy in the suit from down the street."
So, I'm not sure if she still believes, or is going along with the program. If the day does come that she asks me the definitive yes or no question, I'll go with the following: Yes, he did in fact once exist a very long time ago, but his tale was a different one than the way he is now portrayed in the Christmas cartoons you watch on TV. His memory, and acts of giving and kindness are still celebrated today with each child's parents "helping" Santa continue his tradition.
My 9 year old daughter recently pinned me to the wall about Santa. I regret feeding her the myth, and the moment of truth had arrived. Some kids at school told her he was not real and she wanted answers.
I tried to hedge, by answering with questions like, "Well do you think he's real?", but she said, "Dad! It's a yes or no question!", while doing the karate chop to the open palm gesture.
So finally I admitted that he wasn't real and that it was a tradition etc.
This didn't go over too well. "Then why did I spend all that time writing those letters to him!? AND WHO ATE THE COOKIE AND DRANK THE MILK!???"
She cried for a few minutes. It broke my heart. She was so mad at me she wouldn't let me console her. Then she went into denial for a few days, but I think she's OK now.
It sucked. I'm telling you right now, my wife is going to be the one to deal with the tooth fairy.
The... uh, deal, is that's a favorite Floyd tune, from the album just before Waters' ego exploded from the success of Dark Side. They still sounded like a band that collaborated. :)
Plus, I was intrigued by the smiling young lady who appears at various ages in the montage. I get the feeling the mash was done for her, by a loved one. It appears to be clips/stills from the family album. It made me think of my own daughter's future, in a heartwarming way.
Michael Anatole sent a message to the members of Brooklyn Technical High School - Class of 1981.
Subject: Dwayne Black
Message from Dawn Copney Joyner:
It is with deep sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of our friend and former classmate, Dwayne Black. Dwayne passed away yesterday, Thursday, October 8 after an almost 8 month formidable fight with stomach cancer. Please keep his wife, Thomasina L. Clavizzao and family in your prayers. You can post something directly on her wall or if you are not friends with her you can make a comment to her under my post. If you would like to send your condolences via mail, her address is P.O. 1572, Lake City, SC 29560. I will let you get back to you with details about funeral arrangements once they are finalized for those of you who can make it. ~Dawn Copney Joyner
Hi all. Well Hot Tuna was great, But their setlist was not what i was hoping for, didnt really play any of their hits as on Final Vinyl, etc...Not going to make it to the Party either, Familys still in Sweden and there not into taking another trip anywhere for a minute. Hopefully that Cruise reunion Ive been hearing about wil happen. Have Fun Rat and take some pics. Later, degenerates.
Frederik Pohl, one of the nation's most prominent science fiction writers, attended Brooklyn Tech in the Great Depression but was unable to complete his studies, and left in his senior year. To this day, he identifies himself as "Frederik Pohl, Not Quite '36."
To remove the "not quite," Brooklyn Tech has awarded an Honorary Diploma to Mr. Pohl. It was presented to him by Achilles Perry '58, President of the Alumni Foundation and Jeffrey Haitkin '62, Treasurer, who is a lifelong fan of Mr. Pohl.
Well damn sounds like a blast. Unfortunately we can't make it. We already made plans months ago for that weekend and my kids would riot if I made them sit in the car for eight hours (assuming we don't stop for more than gas). So, have a few on me and take plenty of pictures and upload them here.
Ok....Here's the deal....We own 6 acres in Culpeper VA at the end of a dirt road deep surrounded by farm land. At the end of the road is the Rapidan River...A protected river that originates in the Blue Ridge Mtns. There are around 150 people invited...We'll see how many show. Bring tents or RV's there is plenty of room. Starts Friday night 9/25 and will run through Sun 9/27 with Sat the 26th being the main day. We have our own private pebble beach on the river with an island in the middle that the kids will love to explore.....It has a bamboo forest on it as does the lower 3 acres of our property by the river. There will be horse rides for the more adventurous kids as we have 2...a Belgian Draft Horse and an Appaloosa. Depending on how things go maybe we'll even break out the go-kart for the kids and let them cruise. We will be roasting a pig for dinner sat nite followed up with a fireworks display and bonfire.....to be followed by partying deep into the night after the kids are tucked away....All invited. We'll be providing Pig, corn, taters, beer.....Feel free to bring a dish or beverages of your choice. see ya there.
Is this party on? Who else has responded Rat? Sounds great! Is it some land like Kernfield right on the Delaware or something. Bring your own tent. etc... Anyway would be interested in some more details before packing up the whole family which seems like that might be a good Idea if this goes down as I would like and the kids can run around the woods and have bonfires Beautiful country aound them parts.
I guess you came back at just the right moment Steve. I am coming home on leave 9/5 and the wife and I decided to throw a huge weekend long party. We just recently purchased several river front acres and thought a party was in order. Below is the invitation....ALL are invited. Mik, please pass along to any who are not automatically mailed from the site if you would...Or maybe you can forward me everyones addy as I dont want to post my address and ph # here. . Hope to see you all there.
Kevin is coming back from Iraq on leave and it's time to party!!
Bring your tent, your bathing suit, your flashlight and party spirit, 'cause we would Love for you to join us during our
"1st Annual Bunch O' Dix Weekend River Jam".
The festivities will commence Friday night September 25th at 6 PM (or whenever you arrive) with drinks and buffet for those who want to arrive early to get the best camping spots and will continue through
Sunday afternoon September 27th.
Saturday morning will consist of Breakfast and then getting the pig started, followed by a day of swimming in the river, rafting/tubing down the river, volleyball, music and sampling many tasty beverages. For the kids, the river of course….scavenger hunt, a tree house to play in and plenty of exploring on the island in the middle of the river. We expect dinner around 6PM on Saturday once the pig is done roasting. The party will continue deep into the night with a bonfire, fireworks display and many tall tales of adventure around the fire. There is plenty of room to camp or RV either around the house or down by the river. Bring the kids....There will be many, many kids...Bring a covered dish if you'd like, we will be providing Roast Pig corn and taters....or bring a beverage of your choice if you prefer. We will be providing many different types of beers and several stronger beverages for later in the evening once the kids go to sleep. Come one; come all...Let's end the summer with a BLAST!! See you there.
Great! I googled myself to see what came up and found my long lost past. The pictured are a blast and brought back a lot of memories. Its great to see you guys still get together once in a while and keep the party going.
Nice weather id finally coming. Anyone going to be on the east coast who wants to meet for dinner and drinks? I can cruise down to NYC almost any weekend. Be nice to see some of the faces again. Too bad Liz is renting her place. That was nice. Any chance you can kick them out for a weekend Liz? :-)
GTA IV, anyone? Chock full of deja vu inducing scenery of NYC. Grand Army Plaza/Brooklyn Public Library, the various bridges, subway, Flushing Meadows/World's Fair, Forest Hills, Central Park, Statue of Liberty (holding a cup of coffee up ;), and more. Truly a work of immersion art. If ESRB "M" is not your thing, yer missing out.
I spent quite a bit of time looking for him online a couple of years ago, calling up and emailing any place that appeared to have some connection to him, and even bought the domain name he set up (and copied the html of the page via the Internet Archive).
The last time I saw Marc was on the street somewhere in Manhattan, perhaps ten or fifteen years ago. He was homeless at that time and needed cash. I gave him $50 and told him not to worry about it. I expected that I’d never see him again, and I was right. I hope he is well. I am going to get a copy of the gig you guys did at Ian and Andrew’s practice space where Marc sat on the floor with a paper bag on his head shreiking Eye-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi over and over. Classic.
He’s melting. He needs to do something decisive, and fast. He’s overwhelmed and angry. Will he keep his cool under the pressure we’d put on him as President? If he ever spoke to a foreign leader the way he’s been talking this week... well, let’s hope that never happens.
It’s pathetic that McCain was running around last week declaring the economy to be "fundamentally strong" and now suspends his campaign because it’s so important to fix. He should let Ms. Palin run the ticket while he’s pretending to care about the 99% who hold 10% of the wealth.
"We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself."
Some skeptics are calling Henry Paulson’s $700 billion rescue plan for the U.S. financial system "cash for trash." Others are calling the proposed legislation the Authorization for Use of Financial Force, after the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the infamous bill that gave the Bush administration the green light to invade Iraq.
There’s justice in the gibes. Everyone agrees that something major must be done. But Mr. Paulson is demanding extraordinary power for himself - and for his successor - to deploy taxpayers’ money on behalf of a plan that, as far as I can see, doesn’t make sense.
Some are saying that we should simply trust Mr. Paulson, because he’s a smart guy who knows what he’s doing. But that’s only half true: he is a smart guy, but what, exactly, in the experience of the past year and a half - a period during which Mr. Paulson repeatedly declared the financial crisis "contained," and then offered a series of unsuccessful fixes - justifies the belief that he knows what he’s doing? He’s making it up as he goes along, just like the rest of us.
So let’s try to think this through for ourselves. I have a four-step view of the financial crisis:
1. The bursting of the housing bubble has led to a surge in defaults and foreclosures, which in turn has led to a plunge in the prices of mortgage-backed securities - assets whose value ultimately comes from mortgage payments.
2. These financial losses have left many financial institutions with too little capital - too few assets compared with their debt. This problem is especially severe because everyone took on so much debt during the bubble years.
3. Because financial institutions have too little capital relative to their debt, they haven’t been able or willing to provide the credit the economy needs.
4. Financial institutions have been trying to pay down their debt by selling assets, including those mortgage-backed securities, but this drives asset prices down and makes their financial position even worse. This vicious circle is what some call the "paradox of deleveraging."
The Paulson plan calls for the federal government to buy up $700 billion worth of troubled assets, mainly mortgage-backed securities. How does this resolve the crisis?
Well, it might - might - break the vicious circle of deleveraging, step 4 in my capsule description. Even that isn’t clear: the prices of many assets, not just those the Treasury proposes to buy, are under pressure. And even if the vicious circle is limited, the financial system will still be crippled by inadequate capital.
Or rather, it will be crippled by inadequate capital unless the federal government hugely overpays for the assets it buys, giving financial firms - and their stockholders and executives - a giant windfall at taxpayer expense. Did I mention that I’m not happy with this plan?
The logic of the crisis seems to call for an intervention, not at step 4, but at step 2: the financial system needs more capital. And if the government is going to provide capital to financial firms, it should get what people who provide capital are entitled to - a share in ownership, so that all the gains if the rescue plan works don’t go to the people who made the mess in the first place.
That’s what happened in the savings and loan crisis: the feds took over ownership of the bad banks, not just their bad assets. It’s also what happened with Fannie and Freddie. (And by the way, that rescue has done what it was supposed to. Mortgage interest rates have come down sharply since the federal takeover.)
But Mr. Paulson insists that he wants a "clean" plan. "Clean," in this context, means a taxpayer-financed bailout with no strings attached - no quid pro quo on the part of those being bailed out. Why is that a good thing? Add to this the fact that Mr. Paulson is also demanding dictatorial authority, plus immunity from review "by any court of law or any administrative agency," and this adds up to an unacceptable proposal.
I’m aware that Congress is under enormous pressure to agree to the Paulson plan in the next few days, with at most a few modifications that make it slightly less bad. Basically, after having spent a year and a half telling everyone that things were under control, the Bush administration says that the sky is falling, and that to save the world we have to do exactly what it says now now now.
But I’d urge Congress to pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and try to seriously rework the structure of the plan, making it a plan that addresses the real problem. Don’t let yourself be railroaded - if this plan goes through in anything like its current form, we’ll all be very sorry in the not-too-distant future.
I am soooooo glad I don’t live in Florida. Imagine going to the polls and finding out that you can’t vote, despite having done so your entire life. It happened to 100,000 people back in 2000, and this year it could happen to a lot more people. Gotta love a state where the government doesn’t trust anyone.
Here’s an interesting Wall Street Journal article. It’s pretty amazing -- and remember the WSJ is owned by the Australian Rupurt Murdock, the owner of FOX news and a hyper-Bush supporter.
Florida Could Again Muddle Race for White House
New Voting Laws, Untested Machines Might Be Factors
by CHRISTOPHER COOPER
for the Wall Street Journal
September 20, 2008
TAMPA, Fla. -- Just as in 2000, both political parties are battling for Florida, where Republican Sen. John McCain holds a single-digit lead over Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.
And eight years after Florida’s recount drama, a new election debacle in Palm Beach County, home of the infamous "butterfly ballot," as well as new voting laws and untested voting machines, suggest the Sunshine State could again muddle the White House contest.
Keeping the state’s 27 electoral votes in the Republican column are key to Sen. McCain’s national election strategy. In a campaign that has stinted on ground staff elsewhere, he has commandeered 60 Republican Party offices around the state and has about 70 paid employees on the ground. Though registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 500,000 voters statewide, both sides say the Republicans have proven better over the years at turning out their voters. In 2004, President George W. Bush won the state by five percentage points.
"We’re taking the Bush 2004 turnout model and tweaking it a bit," said Buzz Jacobs, director of Sen. McCain’s operations in the state. "We have a lot of experienced people on the ground who know how to run elections in Florida."
For Sen. Obama, Florida could lead him to the White House. "It’s the motivating factor we give our staff every day: You win Florida, Barack is the new president," said Steve Schale, the Obama campaign’s state director.
The Obama campaign has said it will spend $40 million in the state. Sen. Obama is fielding a staff more than four times larger here than Sen. McCain’s. Sen. Obama has 50 field offices, in addition to those operated by the Democratic Party. Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee, had 14.
The Obama campaign also says it has registered about 100,000 new voters this year, part of 250,000 new registrants in the state overall, and the majority of them are Democrats.
Now comes the bigger task: making sure inexperienced voters can navigate two new state laws. The first is the so-called "No match, no vote" law, which requires a match between a voter’s driver’s license or Social Security number and a government database. Critics say database records are riddled with errors.
A second law allows citizens to challenge the legitimacy of fellow voters. Challengers need not prove their accusations. Instead, the challenged voter has two days to justify his right to cast a ballot.
State Republican lawmakers who pushed the law say it will help combat fraud. Democrats call it a vote-suppression measure. "Now why would the legislature make it easier to challenge, instead of, say spending more money on voter education?" said Chuck Lichtman, a Fort Lauderdale attorney. He heads a Democratic effort to put volunteer lawyers in every Florida precinct. Mr. Lichtman says 5,000 lawyers have signed up for the task, up from 3,500 in 2004.
Other battleground states have recently tightened voter-identification laws, but Florida was named "the most hostile state in the nation to new voters" by three national voting-rights groups.
At a recent training seminar in Tampa for about 300 Obama campaign staffers, an election lawyer went over election-law changes that could lead to mass voter challenges. The staff monitors elections across the state. "We’re going to be very aggressive this time," said Mr. Schale, who worked in the 2000 recount. "While I’m sitting in some office in Tampa, the staff will be my eyes and ears."
Republicans aren’t giving details about their preparations. "If there’s something that looks suspicious, we want it investigated by the appropriate authorities," said Mr. Jacobs.
Other potential problems loom, including equipment snafus. In a 2006 congressional election in Sarasota County, machines failed to log some 3,000 votes. As a result, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist ordered all 67 Florida counties to use optical scanning machines, which read hand-marked ballots and provide a complete audit record.
But a recent Palm Beach County election showed that better machines don’t solve all problems.
For the last month, county residents have been awaiting the result of the Aug. 26 election for a circuit judgeship. William Abramson appeared to have toppled longtime incumbent Richard Wennet by a margin of 17 votes out of 100,000 cast. But in a subsequent recount, Mr. Wennet won by 60 votes, and elections officials reported that 3,500 ballots had gone missing.
Mr. Abramson has filed a lawsuit. Further counts offered varying results, including 190 ballots that were overlooked on election night. A state judge ordered county officials to try again Friday. If the numbers don’t balance, he said, he would order a new election. "It seems like Groundhog Day," said Glenn Burhans Jr., a lawyer for Mr. Wennet. "Let’s hope this doesn’t happen in November because things could get really ugly."